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Dexter’s duality

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film studies
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Rachel F.
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documents in English
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  1. Introduction
  2. The character of Dexter
  3. The first shot of the credits
  4. Dexter's annihilation of the mosquito
  5. The stages in Dexter's daily routine
  6. The kitchen scene
  7. Conclusion

The opening credit sequence for Showtime's hit thriller, ?Dexter,? clearly marks the series as an innovative, provocative, and darkly spun show. The opening credits nearly mirror the start to Mary Harron's 2000 ?American Psycho,? and with good reason. Dexter Morgan represents the inconsolable paradox of a serial killer who, on the surface, appears as a functional and even laudable addition to society ? the same as Christian Bale's character in the Brett Easton Ellis novel-based film. The actor who plays Dexter, Michael C. Hall, is nearly an exact reproduction of Bale's character. Furthermore, both actors portray their characters in similar fashion ? charismatic, charming, playful, yet fraught with deeply seeded malice, and a penchant for murder as method of what they would deem, ?social purification.'

[...] The blood that falls is neat, precise, and visually interesting as it mirrors the circular qualities of the drain. Next we see our subject absorb the flowing blood with a scrap of white tissue. The camera zooms in for an extreme close up as the white paper comes into contact with the deep richness of the blood. The white and red create a strong contrast as the red slowly bleeds across the span of the white screen, though half still remains white before they cut to the next shot the transformation is not complete. [...]


[...] The music parallels Dexter's character in that it creates an aura of a menacing presence but somehow comes across as cheerful. The sound effects are also very important. As mentioned before, the decisive ?SLAP' of the mosquito jump starts the piece; the sound it creates is just as impactful as the action itself. The sliding of his finger down his face and the razor shaving against the grain impose an unnerving hunch that the slightest flinch will cause blood. Even more unpleasant is the sound that resembles a chainsaw as Dexter carves his ham and the consequent sizzling sound as the fleshy tissue fries. [...]

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